The holidays depicted in the movies evoke warm and fuzzy feelings of family gathered around the tree, sipping hot chocolate and opening thoughtfully purchased presents. Unfortunately, these scenes don't often translate to real life, particularly when the heartache of a divorce is still fresh. Old traditions may become too painful to carry out as you question how to truly move on.
It can be helpful to remember that thousands of people have gone before you in this arena, inspiring hope that you can get through this season. Before you draw the shades and crawl under the covers until January 2nd, keep reading. The following tips may do the trick and make your holidays merrier than ever.
Start new traditions.
Sure, the traditional holiday rituals have their place, but why not create new memories? Doing the things you did before your divorce may only generate fresh pain and prevent you from enjoying all the festivities. If you have children, get them involved by asking if there is anything they'd like to do this year.
Surround yourself with people who care.
Your natural inclination might be to push people away and show people how strong you really are. After all, you're an adult! This year, however, is not the year to just grin and bear it. There is no better time than the holidays to draw near to family and friends who understand what you're going through. Let your loved ones put you in a festive mood.
Don't be afraid to feel sad.
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you do get emotional. The holidays are sure to remind you of happier times and preparing yourself for an onslaught of sadness can make it easier when and if it comes.
This tip is especially key for those with children. Your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanza celebration might not look the same this year… And that's okay. Give your kids memories to remember even if the day doesn't turn out how you thought it would.
Keep the lines of communication open.
Even if you and your ex aren't on speaking terms, do your best to remain friendly and amicable for the sake of your children. Kids pick up on tension easier than you might think, so work together with your ex. Talk openly about scheduling the holidays and gift giving. Your kids will benefit from your intentions.